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NCTE Paul and Kate Farmer English Journal Writing Award

2017 Winner:

English JournalNicole Boudreau Smith, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for "A Principled Revolution in the Teaching of Writing" (Vol. 106, No. 5, May 2017)

This carefully researched article serves as a compromise between workshop-based/inquiry-based practitioners and a call to action for all writing teachers and writing researchers. Boudreau Smith’s thorough analysis of research on writing and its evolution leads to a synthesis of ideas that ultimately provides practical approaches to support teachers in their quest to teach writing more effectively.

Nicole Boudreau SmithNicole Boudreau Smith, who has taught middle school, high school, and college-level English, teaches at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, where she serves as Sophomore Accelerated English team leader and as a member of the SEL and Literacy Committees. She considers the work she has undertaken to transform her method of instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered, emphasizing engagement over compliance and empowering student voices instead of her own, to be the most important work of her career. It is her goal to support other teachers who aspire to do the same.


Honorable Mention:

English JournalJaclyn Burr, Brighton High School, Brighton, Michgan, for "Springsteen, Spoken Word, and Social Justice: Engaging Students in Activism through Songs and Poetry" (Vol. 106, No. 6 July 2017)

Burr’s inviting article captivates the reader. Thorough research and reputable resources take this piece beyond the retelling of a successful classroom activity. The article provides concrete strategies while reminding the reader that teachers are not blank slates; personal passions are a catalyst in creating rich, authentic learning experiences.

Jaclyn BurrJaclyn Burr teaches English literature and composition at Brighton High School in Brighton, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2013, before completing a master of arts degree from the same institution in 2017. She carries a passion for social justice, education, literature, stories of the human experience, and the works of Bruce Springsteen. In her teaching, she strives to value student voice, increase empathy, and adapt curriculum to be more socially relevant and progressive. She fills her days with family and friends, classic rock music, nature, walks, books, and Seinfeld reruns.

2017 Committee
Amanda Palmer, Chair, Katy Independent School District, Katy, TX
Courtney Morgan, Skyline High School, Idaho Falls, ID
Tiffany Rehbein, East High School, Cheyenne, WY
Ann Quinlan, Lincoln Southeast High School, Lincoln, NE
Vaughn Watson, Michigan State University, East Lansing

NCTE Annual ConventionThe award presentation will be held at the Secondary Section Luncheon on Saturday, November 18 during the NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri.




Nominations are not accepted for this award.

Purpose:  The award recognizes outstanding English Journal articles written by classroom teachers.

Eligibility:  The award shall be given once each year, covering issues published between September and July of the previous volume year. Entrants must be high school teachers and may include those on leave or not currently teaching. The editor of English Journal shall draw up the annual list of eligible authors and shall be the arbiter of eligibility. Up to two honorable mentions (runners-up) may also be named.

Award Criteria:  The award shall be given annually to the authors of two articles written by teachers and published in English Journal. Book reviewers will not be eligible for consideration, but articles written for specific English Journal columns may be considered. Teachers currently on leave may be considered, as may former teachers presently not employed. In the case of co-authored articles, if one author teaches at a college or university and is therefore eligible for the Edwin M. Hopkins Award, the article will be considered for that award and not the Farmer Award.

English JournalAward Specifics:  The award is announced by the award committee chair and presented by the journal editor at the Secondary Section Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention. The winner receives a plaque, $100 honorarium, complimentary registration for the NCTE Annual Convention, and a ticket to the Secondary Section Luncheon. Honorable mentions receive a certificate, complimentary registration for the NCTE Annual Convention, and a ticket to the Secondary Section Luncheon.

The award is named after Paul and Kate Farmer, founders and donors.

Judging:  The Farmer Award Committee determines the winner based upon articles meeting the criteria by August 15. The award committee shall consist of a chair nominated by the editor of English Journal and three to five readers nominated by the members of the Secondary Section Steering Committee.

Past Winners:  Full List of Past Winners

•    Jennifer Ansbach, New Jersey, “Using Memorials to Build Critical Thinking Skills and Empathy,” March 2016
•    Kiran Subhani, New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois, “Photos as Witness: Teaching Visual Literacy for Research and Social Action,” November 2015

•    Chris Gilbert, Henderson, North Carolina, “A Call for Subterfuge: Shielding the ELA Classroom from the Restrictive Sway of the Common Core.” November 2014
•    Jennifer Rossuck, Albertville, Alabama, “My Year of Sports.” September 2014

Honorable Mentions:
•    Michael Hoffman, Ann Arbor, Michigan, “Peer Response, Remixed: Authentic Peer Response through Audio Technology.” March 2015
•    Alyssa Niccolini, Brooklyn, New York, "Precocious Knowledge: Using Banned Books to Engage in a Youth Lens.” January 2015

•    Donna Canan, Kirkwood High School, Missouri, “I Hear America Sing: Promoting Democracy through Literature.” November 2013
•    David Peter Noskin, New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois, for “Toward a Clearer Picture of Assessment: One Teacher’s Formative Approach.” September 2013

Honorable Mentions:
•    Michael Pagliaro, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, “Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Determining the Criteria for Graphic Novels with Literary Merit.” March 2014
•    Jennifer Isgitt and Quentin Donnellan, Fossil Ridge High School, Keller, Texas, “Discussion-Based Problem Solving: An English-Calculus Collaboration Emphasizes Cross-Curricular Thinking Skills.” January 2014


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